SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China’s Sinovac Biotech has secured $515 million in funding from a local firm to double production capacity of its coronavirus vaccine, the companies said on Monday, as it expects efficacy data of its experimental shot this month.
The investment deal also comes as Sinovac expands supply deals and trials of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine CoronaVac with more countries following positive results from early to mid-stage clinical trials.
China’s Sino Biopharmaceutical Limited said on Monday a business unit will invest $515 million in Sinovac Life Sciences, a subsidiary of Sinovac, to help development and production of CoronaVac.
The investment will give Sino Biopharmaceutical a 15.03% interest in Sinovac Life Sciences, Sino Biopharmaceutical said in a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Sinovac said in a separate statement that it would be able to manufacture 300 million vaccine doses annually and aims to complete construction of a second production facility by the end of 2020 to increase annual COVID-19 vaccine production capacity to 600 million doses.
Depending on market conditions and the availability of financing, it may seek to further expand its production capacity, Sinovac said.
Sinovac has secured CoronaVac supply deals with several countries including Indonesia, Turkey, Brazil and Chile, and is holding talks with the Philippines for a potential sale.
CoronaVac is also one of three experimental COVID-19 vaccines China has been using to inoculate around 1 million people under an emergency use programme.
Brazil’s Butantan Institute biomedical centre, which is running a Phase 3 trial of CoronaVac in the country, said last week that Sinovac was expected to publish efficacy results from its vaccine trials by Dec. 15.
Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Sam Holmes
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